Bud the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane so early in the year; 94L may develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:14 PM GMT on May 25, 2012

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Category 2 Hurricane Bud is weakening, but still presents a formidable rainfall threat as it continues north-northeast towards an expected landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico late Friday night. Thursday night at 11 pm EDT, Bud peaked at Category 3 status, with 115 mph winds, becoming the earliest Category 3 hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Recent Satellite loops show that Bud has weakened, though. The eye has disappeared, and the cloud pattern has shrunk and appears squashed, due to an increase in dry air, wind shear, and cooler sea surface temperatures affecting the storm. These hostile conditions should continue to weaken Bud to a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm by the time of landfall. Bud is projected to cross the coast in a rugged, relatively unpopulated area, so wind and storm surge damage will probably be light to moderate. Heavy rain will cover a much wider area, and will be the main threat from Bud. The coast where Bud is headed towards is very mountainous, and numerous flash floods and dangerous mudslides will affect the region, probably including the cities of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. I don't think Puerto Vallarta will see much in the way of wind or storm surge damage, since it is in a well-protected location and will probably be on the weak (left-front) side of the hurricane. Manzanillo is at higher risk, since it will probably be on the stronger right-front side of the hurricane.


Figure 1. True-color satellite image of Hurricane Bud taken at 12:25 pm EDT May 24, 2012. At the time, Bud was a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

A record May for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
Bud is the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane on record for so early in the year, and is tied with Hurricane Alma of 2002 (115 mph winds) as the second strongest May hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Only Hurricane Adolph of 2001 (145 mph winds) was stronger. Also, Bud's appearance on May 21 marked the earliest date since record keeping began in 1949 for formation of the season's second named storm. The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm formed on May 29. Hurricanes are uncommon in the Eastern Pacific in May; there have been just twelve since record keeping began in 1949--an average of one May hurricane every five years. If Bud ends up making landfall in Mexico as a hurricane, it would be only the second Eastern Pacific May hurricane on record to hit Mexico. The other was Hurricane Agatha of May 24, 1971, which hit the same stretch of coast that Bud is threatening. Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane about 45 mi (75 km) from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Ocean temperatures this year in the region where Aletta and Bud formed are only slightly above average, so the large-scale atmospheric patterns are probably more to blame for this year's exceptionally early start to hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Invest 94L off the Georgia coast could develop this weekend
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 94L) a few hundred miles east of the Georgia coast is headed northeast at about 15 mph. The disturbance has not become more organized over the past day, due to very high wind shear of 40 - 55 knots. However, the latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear will drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Saturday and Sunday. Most of our reliable models predict that 94L could organize into a subtropical or tropical depression or storm on Saturday or Sunday off the coast of Georgia/South Carolina. NHC is giving 94L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical or subtropical depression by Sunday morning. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in over the weekend off the East Coast, which will force 94L to the west back towards the coast, and heavy rains from 94L are likely to begin affecting coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida on Saturday and Sunday. There is a lot of dry, continental air on the west side of 94L, so the rainfall amounts from the storm will be limited unless until the center makes landfall. If these rains do materialize, they would be welcome, considering the moderate to severe drought conditions in the area.

I'll have an update Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM BUD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 20A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022012
500 PM PDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...BUD WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM...HURRICANE WARNING AND WATCH
DISCONTINUED FOR THE COAST OF MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM PDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.5N 105.5W
ABOUT 80 MI...130 KM WNW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SSE OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...115 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32857
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I'm just speculating here...but the NHC at the moment has a lame-duck head, and this is one of those Friday night storms, plus it's before a major holiday. There's lobbying that comes from tourism boards and higher in the political realm. I'd speculate there's a good disagreement between the forecasters with outside influences. I'll feel a lot better when Dr. Knabb gets there.

True...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting Tazmanian:



this will not be a TD this is going right to a STS or TS it all ready has 40 too 45kt winds


Pretty sure it will jump straight to an STS or TS, but unfortunately, I don't know what NHC has on their minds so leaving options open. :)
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Quoting Progster:


Its a classic diagnosis problem. It seems to me that the stronger vorticity analyzed at 700 than 500 mb is symptomatic indeed of convection at and below 700mb and the relative divergence above that level promotes vertical motion below 500mb. As you well know, just basic Q-G. So in this subtropical stage it may still be positive to have shear in the mix, if only to concentrate the lower level vorticity...yes, kind of like a supercell.


Sure, I see what you're saying. The shear can help to start them off because of divergence aloft, which is much of why 94L deepened today. At this point though, with convection developing over the center, I think further shear will only impede full tropical transition, so it is now becoming a negative.
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Some interesting weather for so early in the season, now hoping the big D doesn't repeat itself for Texas and Louisiana.
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Quoting Gorty:
If this were the 1980s then I doubt this thing would of gotten named. Back then, scientists knew less about TCs and this disgusting excuse of a TC would of gone un-named back then. They would look at it and say "wow, a poor looking-sheared system, with a poor CoC".

No Comment.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
GFS fluctuates to the weaker solution again.
Will probably be back to the stronger one tomorrow.
This is the 3rd fluctuation, it changes once a day...
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
I'm just speculating here...but the NHC at the moment has a lame-duck head, and this is one of those Friday night storms, plus it's before a major holiday. There's lobbying that comes from tourism boards and higher in the political realm. I'd speculate there's a good disagreement between the forecasters with outside influences. I'll feel a lot better when Dr. Knabb gets there.
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It will probably rename today at night and if not tomorrow morning.
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873. Gorty
If this were the 1980s then I doubt this thing would of gotten named. Back then, scientists knew less about TCs and this disgusting excuse of a TC would of gone un-named back then. They would look at it and say "wow, a poor looking-sheared system, with a poor CoC".
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It wouldn't "make" history...It would tie it though.


Nah, Chris will do that at the start of next week ;)
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Quoting Levi32:


Are you saying that the horizontal vorticity generated by the vertical wind velocity gradient (wind shear) is being turned vertical by rising air motions like in a supercell thunderstorm? I don't think the system has been convectively active enough for that, and wind shear is almost always more negative than positive for systems attempting to become warm-core.


Its a classic diagnosis problem. It seems to me that the stronger vorticity analyzed at 700 than 500 mb is symptomatic indeed of convection at and below 700mb and the relative divergence above that level promotes vertical motion below 500mb. As you well know, just basic Q-G. So in this subtropical stage it may still be positive to have shear in the mix, if only to concentrate the lower level vorticity...yes, kind of like a supercell.
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94L zoomed in vis image

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting washingtonian115:
Come on 94L you can do it!.Make history!!!

It wouldn't "make" history...It would tie it though.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32857
45 minute-old microwave pass shows the curved band that is forming in the NW quad and trying to wrap around the center:

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Quoting WxLogic:
I would expect at least TD status between 11PM tonight and 2AM if it's able to sustain the convection and STS or TS status by tomorrow AM.

Is pulling itself together quite nicely.




this will not be a TD this is going right to a STS or TS it all ready has 40 too 45kt winds
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


circulation looks to be closer to 32 then 33, plus it has slowed big time, also forecasts show a possible SW move

again its likely landfall is probably Savannah to Daytona Beach, but like you said; its the areas to the north that will get slammed at first
Damn it, you caught the latitude before I edited it ;). But yeah, I definitely have noticed the slowing on satellite since about 20:30UTC.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
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Come on 94L you can do it!.Make history!!!
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17831
I would expect at least TD status between 11PM tonight and 2AM if it's able to sustain the convection and STS or TS status by tomorrow AM.

Is pulling itself together quite nicely.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The fact that 94L's circulation is already near 33˚N is very interesting. Might point towards a Georgia landfall with the worst weather affecting South Carolina northwards, should it maintain it's current sheared structure; and it probably will as the SHIPS prognosticates that upper-level winds will remain southerly throughout all of 94L's lifespan.


circulation looks to be closer to 32 then 33, plus it has slowed big time, also forecasts show a possible SW move

again its likely landfall is probably Savannah to Daytona Beach, but like you said; its the areas to the north that will get slammed at first
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


its currently subtropical, they dont necessarily need to be symmetric to be classified

I can see this being Beryl tonight


it need not be symettrical, but that teardrop shape it has, with the LLC rotating without the MLC fully engaged, i would wait till tomorrow morning.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Bud's not even a Hurricane anymore.
Conditions surrounding it finally brought the storm down.
While Bud simmers down, we have 94L very close to becoming a named storm.
I wouldn't be surprised, if current trends continue, to see a named storm at the 11 pm advisory.

I'd be surprised if Bud is still a tropical cyclone by 11. 94L is looking good.
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The fact that 94L's circulation is already near 32N* (typo) is very interesting. Might point towards a Georgia landfall with the worst weather affecting South Carolina northwards, should it maintain it's current sheared structure; and it probably will as the SHIPS prognosticates that upper-level winds will remain southerly throughout all of 94L's lifespan.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Bud's not even a Hurricane anymore.
Conditions surrounding it finally brought the storm down.
While Bud simmers down, we have 94L very close to becoming a named storm.
I wouldn't be surprised, if current trends continue, to see a named storm at the 11 pm advisory.

94L just blew up some nice convection and tucked the Circulation right under it. Very good signs toward this becoming a storm, soon.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
and some time 94Ls are one of the harder storms too get a name out of
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
What an impressive hurricane.

Bud's not even a Hurricane anymore.
Conditions surrounding it finally brought the storm down.
While Bud simmers down, we have 94L very close to becoming a named storm.
I wouldn't be surprised, if current trends continue, to see a named storm at the 11 pm advisory.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


yes, but it needs better form, the winds could just be isolated and it wouldnt hurt to wait and see what happens, it could easily get a little weaker before restrengthening.
With its shape it needs to start building convection on the S side.


its currently subtropical, they dont necessarily need to be symmetric to be classified

I can see this being Beryl tonight
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


yes, but it needs better form, the winds could just be isolated and it wouldnt hurt to wait and see what happens, it could easily get a little weaker before restrengthening.
With its shape it needs to start building convection on the S side.

The only difference between a tropical depression and a tropical storm is wind speed.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32857
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Funny. :P

I'm looking at 10 meter winds on GREarth and you know what it shows on Bud? 35 mph.

And the award for most rapid weakening goes to...
Seriously, from 75mph to 35mph? That's just sad.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


why would it be a TD?

already has the pressure and the winds of a tropical storm or in this case a subtropical storm


yes, but it needs better form, the winds could just be isolated and it wouldnt hurt to wait and see what happens, it could easily get a little weaker before restrengthening.
With its shape it needs to start building convection on the S side.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
851. Gorty
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

That image is 14 hours old...


Goes to show you it barely got better lol.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Just look at it! It's a monster! XD
lol j/k




no its not lol Bud is dead
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No renumber as of yet so I'm doubtful; I'd definitely consider classifying it at 11p.m should convective activity persist over the circulation though.




most of the time the renumber occurs about 60-90 minutes before the next big update

so I would watch around 930pm for that to happen
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Bud should be upped to 120mph at 8PM IMHO.

Funny. :P

I'm looking at 10 meter winds on GREarth and you know what it shows on Bud? 35 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32857
Quoting Tazmanian:



LOL


why

Just look at it! It's a monster! XD
lol j/k
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would name this thing in a Special update at 8PM EDT.
No renumber as of yet so I'm doubtful; I'd definitely consider classifying it at 11p.m should convective activity persist over the circulation though.


Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Bud should be upped to 120mph at 8PM IMHO.



LOL


why
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I would make it a TD and put it at 35, and name it tomorrow.


why would it be a TD?

already has the pressure and the winds of a tropical storm or in this case a subtropical storm
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I would make it a TD and put it at 35, and name it tomorrow.

Why? It has winds of 45 mph according to the buoy it passed over.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32857
Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Friday 25 May 2012
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 29.94 inches
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 6

Temperature: 82.8°F
Dewpoint: 60.3°F
Humidity: 47 %
Wind: NW 17 mph
Humidex: 91
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would name this thing in a Special update at 8PM EDT.

Bud should be upped to 120mph at 8PM IMHO.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would name this thing in a Special update at 8PM EDT.


I would make it a TD and put it at 35, and name it tomorrow.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would name this thing in a Special update at 8PM EDT.



same here
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I would name this thing in a Special update at 8PM EDT.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32857
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
What an impressive hurricane.
Strong cat-4 and well organized..I thought Gilbert looked on sat pics..
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Quoting Gorty:


but away from the center?

That image is 14 hours old...
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What an impressive hurricane.
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834. Gorty
Quoting LargoFl:
the colder cloud tops


but away from the center?
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Ah, I see. Apologies.



thats ok lol
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Evening Everybody, really interesting whats happening with the 94L scenario.
Here's a link for those who care to read it from the BBC:-
"Climate talks stall with nations 'wasting time'"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-182 10642

"China and the oil-producing states fear the breaching of the "firewall" between the traditional developed and developing worlds."

All a bit predictable as usual!
Wait until something really goes wrong!
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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